the husband of the heroic Zenobia [ZENOBIA], according to Zosimus, was of a noble family of Palmyra, according to Procopius (Persic.
2.5) the prince of a Saracenic tribe dwelling upon the banks of the Euphrates, according to Agathias (lib. iv.) of humble origin.
He is included by Trebellius Pollio in his catalogue of the thirty tyrants [see AUREOLUS], but unlike the great majority of these usurpers, deserves to be considered as the saviour rather than the destroyer of the Roman power.
At the moment when all seemed lost in the East, in consequence of the capture of Valerian, and the dispersion of his army, Odenathus having collected a powerful force marched boldly against the victorious Sapor, whom he drove out of Syria, recovered Nisibis, together with all Mesopotamia, captured the harenm of the Persian monarch, and pursued him up to the very walls of Ctesiphon. Returning loaded with plunder, he next turned his arms against Quietus, son of Macrianus, and shut up the pretender in Emesa, where he perished upon the capture of the city.
In gratitude for these important services, Gallienus bestowed upon his ally the title of Augustus, and acknowledged him as a colleague in the empire, but Odenathus did not long enjoy his well-earned dignity, for he was slain by the domestic treachery of his cousin, or nephew, Maeonius, not without the consent, it is said, of Zenobia, about the year A. D. 266. Little is known with regard to the history of this warlike Arab, except the naked facts detailed above, and that from his earliest years he took great delight in the chase, and willingly endured the severest hardships. [MAEONIUS.]